In “The Cask of Amontillado”, by Edgar Allen Poe, a bitter friend, Montresor,
seeks revenge on Fortunato for ridiculing his family name. The Montresor family motto,
“nemo me impune lacessit," or, "let no one challenge me with impunity,” plays a large role in
this story because after Fortunato disrespects Montresor by referring to one of his family
members as an “ignoramus” (126), Montresor feels he needs to seek revenge on Fortunato.
The chosen passage is influential to this story because it reveals a great deal about both
characters; the dark side of Montresor comes to light while the egotistical drunkard,
Fortunato, also exposes his true nature. This passage also contains some of the perverse
moments of this story and goes along with the cruel tone of this short story. In “The Cask of
Amontillado”, Poe uses two very different, clashing characters and a vicious, sadistic tone to
tell the story of a betrayed trust, revenge, and murder.
Within the passage, the reader is shown the dark side of Montresor. Montresor
states, “The noise lasted for several minutes, during which, that I might hearken to it with
the more satisfaction, I ceased my labours and sat down upon the bones. When at last the
clanking subsided, I resumed the trowel…” (144-146) These two lines show that Montresor
does not have a normal, moral human soul. When he sits upon the bones of the dead, one